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Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe captures Naismith trophy

UK Athletics

Sunday in New Orleans Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe was awarded one of the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Naismith Trophy which is presented to the nation’s best player by the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

The Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo native, is the second recipient of the honor in program history. He joins Anthony Davis (2012) as winners of the award. Tshiebwe, Davis and Pete Maravich (LSU – 1970) are the recipients from member institutions of the Southeastern Conference. He is the third player coached by John Calipari to claim the award joining Davis and UMass’ Marcus Camby (1996).

The Naismith Trophy has been presented to the best player in college basketball since Lew Alcindor, who later changed his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, received the first honor in 1969. Tshiebwe received the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award, emblematic of the nation’s best center, on Saturday as one of his major postseason accolades this year.

This marks the fifth NCAA-recognized electors for national player of the year honor that Tshiebwe has been awarded. He was also picked as the nation’s top performer by The Sporting News, the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the Associated Press and the United States Basketball Writers Association.

The final award, the Wooden Award, will be announced on Tuesday. Tshiebwe is looking to become the first player in program history to become a unanimous selection for player of the year.